Vision and Goals

Welcome to the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER)!

Tackling the world’s environmental problems through innovation and interdisciplinary collaborations is the focus of a new institute at the University of Guelph.

The Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) will build on the University’s expertise in the environment and sustainability by bringing together researchers from diverse fields.

“GIER includes researchers from all seven colleges at the University,” said Prof. Madhur Anand, the institute’s inaugural executive director. “Not many places in the world aim to contain such a breadth of environmental inquiry under one umbrella.”

Pressing challenges such as the climate crisis and rapid decline in biodiversity are interdisciplinary in nature and require an understanding of human-environment interactions, said Anand.

“Collaboration is essential for front-line environmental protection, whether that is clean air, clean water, healthy food or any valued ecosystem service. Many of these things are inextricably connected, requiring interdisciplinary approaches.”

Read more about how UofG builds on environmental expertise with GIER.


With 225 faculty members spanning all seven colleges, the University of Guelph has a critical mass of researchers studying many different aspects of the environment. In order to gain international recognition and support research that is both important for society and a strength of the University of Guelph, the Provost has approved a base-budget to support a research institute. The Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) will raise Guelph’s national and international profile in environmental research, by showcasing our strengths and stimulating interdisciplinary research in this field. The institute represents a commitment to identifying new arenas of research and provides institutional recognition that the significant contributions are often to be found at interdisciplinary boundaries. GIER seeks to accelerate discoveries and applications that will enhance our understanding of the environment, benefit Canadians and people globally, and transform Guelph into a global centre for the study of the environment.

Our Vision

GIER will harness the extraordinary existing environmental research capacity across all seven colleges of the University, as well as build a new robust collaborative platform beyond campus. In our vision, we break down barriers among disciplinary silos and bring the arts, the sciences, the humanities, and the engineering together to tackle complex environmental problems.

Our Goals

Our proposed vision is built around the following goals:

  • Showcase our strengths in environmental research to national and international audiences.
  • Demonstrate institutional commitment to environmental research, to the outside world.
  • Provide a common identity additional to our departmental and collegiate identities, for researchers working in this field.
  • Stimulate interdisciplinary research and a sense of common community among University of Guelph researchers.

Banner photo credit: Karen Whylie.

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